Meet Jim Kelly
A resident of El Cajon since 1976, Jim Kelly has a long history of supporting public education in San Diego. He was elected to the Grossmont Union High School District Board of Trustees in November 2002. Prior to that, he served on the San Diego County Board of Education from January 1993 through December 2002, where he was President in 1997. In 1998, he received the highly regarded Samuel Adams National Award for his outstanding leadership in government. This prestigious award is presented to only 50 people in the nation on an annual basis. Mr. Kelly was recently bestowed the honor of being selected by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to serve as Co-Chair of the Governor’s Coalition for Education Reform.
Mr. Kelly’s principled approach to governance has been crucial, particularly during these tough budgetary times. Under his leadership, the Grossmont District avoided layoffs of permanent teachers, while forced to slash its budget by $23 million over the past 3 years. He succeeded in keeping those cuts as far away from the classroom as possible. Mr. Kelly also demonstrated strong leadership and innovation when upon his election, he quickly assembled a Blue Ribbon Commission to open the books to the public in order to root out any waste and ensure that money was being spent appropriately. This process resulted in a cost savings and restored transparency and public trust in the governance of the Grossmont District. Under Jim’s leadership, the Grossmont Union High School District also passed its first repair and renovation bond in more than 30 years.
Mr. Kelly has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Cal Poly State University in San Luis Obispo, and a Masters Degree in Secondary Education from San Diego State University. He is currently president of the Jim Kelly Allstate Insurance Agency in Santee, and has obtained numerous state and national awards for his work. Mr. Kelly has also recently opened Kelly Financial Services, which specializes in mortgages and real estate. He has been married 25 years to Mary, a kindergarten teacher at Hill Creek School in Santee. Jim and Mary have three sons: Matthew, Tyler and James.